Manequim 634 (March 2012)

Sigh…I’ve had a super crappy week but pretty patterns cheer me up, let’s review:

Ohh shoes! Shoes make me happy too, these are so pretty in all their clompy goodness. It’s a shame all the shoes I can buy right now are for winter. I hope I can find some puppies like these in the shops next summer.

And this month we also get another pretty online crochet pattern (link) and it looks like the plus pattern page is going to be a regular now. I think the neckline of this top is quite nice, a combination of shirt collar and cowl neck.

 Our cover model this month is Fernanda Souza, a Brazilian model and actress who is clearly a fan of pink. I really like the dress on the left which is a style I’ve seen before but this pattern manages to still show off a really nice feminine silhouette while being floaty and layered.

Our designer section is Tommy Hilfiger and I have to say that I am a bit disappointed that the number of patterns in this section seems to be shrinking. This month we only get three and while I LOVE this dress and it looks great with the blazer (we also get a jean pant pattern shown in a blue and white stripe that had an unfortunate pattern joining in the crotch that I didn’t scan) there was also an amazing top and skirt that I wished they’d produced a pattern for.

FYI the dress, if you bought it, is R$780 (about NZD$520) and the blazer R$404 (about NZD$270)

The “Democratic Fashion” (?) section has some pretty and light tops and I really like this dress with all the buttons and tabs on the neckline.

I love a good wide leg pant and the fabric of her blouse is amazing too!

Don’t let the line drawing of this first dress in the “Time to Shine” section fool you, those are not several long pleats or darts as I first thought, it’s just representing the lace. I like the strappy neckline, it ties at the back of the neck in a bow.

It’s hard to see the detail of this dress in the black fabric, you’ll have to take my word, when I stare really closely at the magazine page it looks pretty hot. I’ve scanned it several times to try to get the detail to show up but it was Photoshop ultimately that saved the day (click on the thumbnail on the left to view bigger). It looks absolutely awful colour-wise but you can at least see the pleats, waistband and overlapping front.

Finishing up with another tie-front blouse in a great print and next months preview, ohh, Marc Jacobs!

Manequim 633 (Feb 2012) and smiles

You know what? You guys are awesome! I’ve been feeling pretty blue the last week, letting all the little things get to me but all your comments on my last post really cheered me up so I’d like to say a BIG thank you to all of you xx

The other awesome thing that happened to me this week, just when I was in the need for a little pick-me-up, was that I managed to win myself a sewing pattern online. I love winning things just as much as I love new sewing patterns but it doesn’t happen very often despite my extensive efforts.

I now have a copy of The Sidekick Sewing Pattern from Jodi at Sew Fearless, thank you so much Jodi, I love it and just as I said in my comment, I can’t wait to make up a funky “adult” version for me! :) I’m thinking about using up the last of my super funky Ikea fabric that came home with me from Perth.

You can grab your own version of this super sweet, and super handy pattern for just $10 here at her shop.

In other fun news, last week Zoe of ZoSews nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award. I haven’t had a chance to get around to it until today so I didn’t forget you Zoe, thanks so much, I really appreciate it! :)

Zoe and I share a love of nerdy maps, specifically ones that show us where all the sewing gems are hiding, kind of like a sewing treasure map! If you haven’t seen it yet, my map is here and you can check out Zoe’s Melbourne version here.

When I received my first blog award (The Versatile Blogger) I wasn’t too sure if blog awards were cool or naff, spam or genuine praise, so I played along anyway, but I’ve decided it’s fun to let others know how much you love their blog and share the linky love so here goes:

The ‘rules’ of the Liebster Award

1 – Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog. Tick!
2 – Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you. Tick!
3 – Copy/paste the blog award on your blog. Tick! Obviously, or you wouldn’t be reading this ;)
4 – Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs (with 200 followers or less). See list below – I tried to choose new blogs from my list that hadn’t already received the award.
5 – Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment. Will do.

My Liebster Blog Award nominees are:

(cue drum roll, applause and confetti)

  • SewingElle from He Cooks…She Sews! – Who can resist a mix of yummy food mixed up with beautiful sewing? Not me!
  • Kirsty from Rocket Sews – I discovered her recently while stalking the Minoru Jacket sew-along. I love her colourful print and all those extra details, go see!
  • Emily from Calico Stretch – We share a love of NZ Merino, and if you’ve never made anything from merino before it you should definitely try it, the most fabulous fabric in the world!
  • Kelly from Sew Alluring – Has just started learning to sew herself and is blogging her progress. I love seeing the sewing love spread and she’s already doing a fabulous job of a super cute apron ;)
  • …and last but by no means least is The Perfect Nose – Because we share our love of Manequim magazines and she has me dangerously close to re-subscribing to La Mia Boutique… ;)

Why don’t you go and check out one (or all) of the above blogs, you never know what amazing new inspiration you’ll find xx

Ok, let’s look at a new sewing pattern magazine shall we?

This month starts of with a cute trend of crochet dresses. I think the runway dress is a better example than the offered pattern. It is available on the Manequim website and it took me a little bit to find it but when I did I also discovered a whole pile of other free crochet patterns. Since I can’t crochet in English, let alone in Portuguese, I’ll probably be giving these a miss but you can check them out here.

I’m skipping a big section and jumping straight to the Nina Ricci inspired pages now. We only get 3 patterns in this section but I am really liking the lace dress. I just picked up a large lace remnant for about $3 and while it might not be suitable for an entire dress it’s got me thinking. I LOVE the draped sleeves on the top.

This skirt below is nothing new pattern-wise but as a bonus it’s in my size :)

Recently I have been noticing a lot of tie-front tops and blouses.I know it’s not a new trend, I’m a little slow on the uptake and by the time I get around to making one they’ll probably be off-trend again ;)

My Nana would tisk tisk at this model wearing blusa 168. There are two pictures of her in the issue sitting in this “unladylike” position, I’m no prude but it disturbs me. Her top looks kind of like the top part of the Lonsdale dress.

Another cute tie-front blouse and the fabric is so sweet!

I’m not a fan of when magazine issues try to tell you what you should wear at each decade of your life, however I do like these two dresses, even though they are meant for ladies in their 50s and 60s (whatever) Ohh butterflies! Oh and we’ve seen that green blouse before in a previous issue, I like that they are bringing in pattens from previous issues, although there are no references so you’d have to dig though your collection if it seemed familiar.

Next month looks nice, but you won’t be catching me in that grey sheer blouse without a bra on!

Ciao for now xx

Super Magazine Post: Manequin 632 & Patrones 310 & 311

Apologies that I have been a bit slow with my scanning lately. The good news is that my scanner and my computer are now vaguely grumbling at each other, which is better than the straight out ignoring that was happening before ;)

I’ve had a really busy two weeks and last weekend I tagged along with Nerdy Hubby to help out with some field work in the upper North Island. We drove about 920 kilometres in two days which is a lot when you consider the North Island is only about 1100kms in total from top to tail. So hence my brain is a little bit fried and when I tried to write some intelligent things to accompany my scanned images I failed. I found I was just writing “I like this (insert item of clothing here), it’s pretty” over and over.

So here are a few less words than I originally intended and some pretty pictures to inspire you :)

Patrones 310 (Winter Special) starts with a pretty sparkly number to kick off the festive season. The dress itself is quite simple, but that can be a good thing when sewing sequins.

I like this cute little shrug/bolero too, would look great over the sparkles.

The next section is a little bit pirate but the book series I have just finished reading has a sexy pirate side-kick siren in it and this is exactly how I imagine her so excuse my indulgence.

A nice bustier pattern that could be easily embellished and the rest might come in handy next Halloween.

I am quite disturbed by the trousers #20, I have no idea what is going on in the crotch area and clearly, judging by the models pose, Patrones don’t want you to know either.

Classic strapless dresses feature in the central section, I like #34 but #36 and #37 are my favourites, super elegant.

From the plus section we have this nicely detailed layered dress in emerald-green, Patrones always do a great job of their “Grandes” patterns.

Patrones 311 (Spring advance) begins with some sweet dresses. I like the neck line and pleats of the blue dress and it looks great with the blazer. The green dress I am not 100% sure of, I like the look on the model but…

You all know I am a bit vest obsessed right now and this issue has a vest for everyone, you name the style, from military to glitzy, and there’s one here for you.

There are some super cute baby patterns in this issue too. Don’t get any ideas but I think that apron/wrap is just great and the little boys outfit is very smart.

Next month is the Spring Special, I tried translating the blurb with Google. It usually does a pretty good job but this time, not so much. Something along the lines of “positive air” spring fashion, comfortable designs that feel good, happy tendencies, flirtatious woman’s clothing including light blouses, shorts and dresses.

Actually Jacqui has already received her issue so pop over here to check out her review :)

January Manequim starts with some trend ideas, I think this is quite a sweet way to embellish a simple top, except that I’d probably be constantly knocking them off and have to re-sew them back on.

This white dress in the celebrity style section is really interesting, it looks a bit Grecian in white but I think would look even better in a strong solid colour or large-scale print.

There is a short plus section in this issue too, the model is gorgeous. This skirt and top are really nice, the skirt is panelled and I think it might even have pockets. I wish they’d left the metal zipper in the front of the top but that wouldn’t be hard to insert if you agree.

Lots of short flirty skirts and nice tops in the central section. The wrap around top #103 looks really interesting, I’ve included the layout for you to see and the fabric is gorgeous too.

I think this tunic dress pattern would be great for using up those beautiful remnants from other projects or that amazing <1m piece you dug out of the remnant bin at the fabric shop (I have my fair share of those!). Love the pleat detail on the skirt of the blue dress, I’ve seen it on quite a few dresses in the shops recently.

The designer section this month is Céline. My favourites are this gold 60s inspired sheath dress, it’s simple in shape but the pink and black band really makes it pop (sized in a 44, perfect!). The black and white top I also fabulous, very versatile and I’m thinking about tracing it out this weekend.

I think we’ve seen a similar pattern to this vest before, perhaps with a bit of extra embellishment, but it’s a vest, so two thumbs up from me.

Manequim were due for another WTF moment, it’s been a while, so here is this month’s – The new office trend: bare midriff over pencil skirt, perfect for a day at the office…

Summer is quickly disappearing here, and I’ve been contemplating a cropped or short sleeve blazer of some sort. This blue one is nice, my other options are this jacket which I fell in love with instantly from Manequim (already traced) and I also own this Butterick pattern (view C or D maybe).

I’ve never been a big fan of one-shouldered dresses but this yellow number has swayed me and even the white inspiration image is pretty hot.

Red dress = pretty…words.running.out…

And here’s next months preview, colourful and yummy at the same item, just the way I like it ;) Melissa’s already received her issue before me so you should pop over and take a look for yourself.

Manequim 629 (November 2011)

I have to confess, despite the best intentions, I haven’t gotten very much sewing done these holidays, or blogging. This was my last week off work before I go back (yes, I got an extra week, not my idea, I think the boss secretly wanted an extra week so we all got given one. It has been fun reading all my friends Facebook status updates about struggling through the first week back…but that will be me on Monday).

I managed to finish my JJ (yet to be photographed along with the 1930s dress, I know, I know), had a brief go at my forever (and ever) jeans and cut out this skirt (view A).

I did make it to the January Fabric Hoarders Meet, see?

Evidence & plenty of room for more friends - you should join us!

Despite the weather looking like this:

My sewing room also gained two new friends, courtesy of my Mum who took over all my indoor plants when I moved overseas. These two are “babies” she took off the ones that are growing a bit too large.

I promise the Zygo is actually alive, it has two teeny tiny pink nubbins that you might not be able to spot in the photo but they are there.

I also finally upgraded myself to an Android phone, (Thank you Santa! xx) so now I am an annoying droid-nerd, and the first App I downloaded (after Angry Birds & Cut the Rope – love you Om Nom!) was Evernote for Android.

So then I spent a bit of time tidying up my Evernote database to make it more useable when I am both purposefully fabric shopping and also when I am surprise fabric shopping.

If you haven’t read my super epically nerdy love post about Evernote yet you can find it here.

Here is what the Android app looks like (I am guessing the iPhone app is similar):

You swipe sideways to see each image or text block in the “note”:

(click to enlarge)

Basically I added in more pattern info (line drawing, fabric allowances, notions etc…) which wasn’t difficult. Using the Evernote programme on my PC I dragged it all off the pattern company websites, easy peasy, sync it up, and all within hand when I find that PERFECT bolt of fabric and need to know how much to buy, plus zipper, I always forget the zipper!

Incidentally I also keep a Pattern Wishlist Notebook, so that when the amazing BMW or sewingpatterns.com sale comes up I am ready to pounce.

I have been working on two pretty cool sewing related items with the help of Nerdy Husband, it’s not difficult to convince him to help me when it involves power tools. I’m quite proud of our result but when I show it off I also want to include the pattern. Unfortunately AutoCAD and Windows 7 are currently having a big glitch fight, so I’ll have to knock their heads together and sort them out, but for now, here is a sneak peak:

So instead of sewing I enjoyed quite a bit of extra napping and reading, which has been great – 2011 was a big year for Hubby and I: We got married (just celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary btw, yay us), honeymooned, quit two perfectly good jobs, moved our entire life back across the Tasman Sea, said goodbye to far too many amazing friends, found new jobs each and basically tried to settle back into life making new friends and catching up with our families. Couple that with a few family health crises and it’s no wonder it’s all just caught up with me!

OK, enough of that, here is Manequim 629, yes it did finally arrive, out of order but fabulous as always just the same:

The first time I saw a blouse with knickers attached was in a La Mia Boutique magazine. I made that blouse but left of the knickers (knickers? I guess it is more of a mini-jumpsuit, no?) and made just the blouse part but I can see the benefits when wearing it tucked in to a pencil skirt. I was just concerned about getting the torso length correct, being my first LMB pattern ever I could see it ending up quite uncomfortable (as it was the arms we so tight I had to alter the button holes to button loops). Have you ever made or purchased a top that is more like a mini jumpsuit like this pattern 438 above?

The pink dress has an interesting back with pleat detail, I’m really not sure how it works, There are gaps at the back of the neck but I am guessing there are joins at the shoulder which the model’s hair conveniently covers up.

I also like the blue top, another interesting back detail, the pants fit is pretty terrible, I think she’s standing like that hoping we won’t notice.

Halston is our fashion house for this month and I think they’ve done a good job capturing the style, very draped and Grecian but for all the pretty styles we only get three patterns. The long black dress, the gold top/tunic/dress and the blue draped top. I really like the gold tunic even though I am 90% sure it wouldn’t suit me, the different styling make it look really versatile.

I think these two above are in the section called “Devastate the Party” (love Google translate), my favourite is this gown (excusing the zipper) and my elusive bow blouse is finally patterned, yay.

In “Mix of Colours” I love the blue and black combination (pink belt!) of this dress but not the one-shouldered half sleeve thing, Burda tried to do it in the last issue I received in my subscription but I’m not a fan. The coral dress I completely missed on my first look through, it wasn’t until I saw the front on image in the back that I re-scanned it because the lines and details are really nice.

And just in case you were worried there is a jumpsuit in this issue ;) and a few celebrity styles to copy, the only people I recognised were Drew Barrymore, Pippa Middleton and Katie Holmes,  I’m not a Katie fan but the top is cute.

Next month looks good, lots of colour, love the look of that dress and black/white top in the Céline section.

I have Patrones 310 & 311 to share with you next so stay tuned :)

Manequim 630 (November 2011)

Manequim 630 showed up last week, not sure what happened to issue 629…but it wouldn’t be the first time they have arrived out of sequence. Hopefully it shows up soon or I’ll have to write them an email, the Manequim distributors are really good actually, they might be slow to respond (most likely due to language and time conversions) but I have no complaints.

So, what is 629 supposed to have inside it?

Ohh party dresses!

The great thing about Manequim is that Brazil’s seasons are more or less in line with ours down here in the Southern Hemisphere. So the current issues coupled with Wellington’s fantastic start to what is meant to be a terrific long summer has me quite excited! :D

We begin with the style of actress Adriana Birolli. The polka dot top is deceptively simple but buttons up at the back, I am a big fan of a boatneck, it’s really flattering for me, it’s also multi-sized (38/42/46/50). The pleated skirt is great too (another multi-sized pattern) and guess what? Another jumper ;) but this one is short and fun, very beachy, in my size (42), I quite like it.

Apparently prints are big this season (aren’t they always?) and this section gives us lots of prints and long slimming silhouettes. Love the key hole knotted halter and the partially sheer top, the dress is pretty simple but how amazing in that print? Will be keeping my eyes open for something similar. must. have.

This months issue is also super colourful and I almost scanned this entire “easy fashion” section, lots of simple lines in vibrant colour. The pink and red bicolour dress would be very slimming. I thought the blue dress was long with a fold all around to create that detail but looking more closely at the instructions I think its maybe just a tunic top over a separate skirt…

I wish they included the pattern for the orange top but I’m sure there is a similar pattern in a past magazine, winding up with two more easy tops.

Next month is PARTY month, yay, I am looking forward to lots of beautiful dresses and a fabulous plus section.

Manequim 627 & 628 (September & October 2011)

Ahhhh slowly catching up…apologies that these images aren’t my usual quality, the scanner I am using is good at making copies of several pages but when I try to open them up in Photoshop for editing they are all cropped @ 19cm square.  I like to think I’m pretty good with image editing software and I know my fair share of tricks but after playing with these images on and off for two weeks (because I refuse to re-scan them again) I am stumped. So, here they are anyway ;)

Starting with Manequim 627:

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I really love the cover skirt, the side panelling is really nice, I think it would look amazing in black and white. And the yellow dress with knot/twist detail is something I’ve wanted to try for a white…not sure how I’ll get along with no English instructions for this one but they do have a nice diagram in the instructions.

I feel like the designer patterns section has gotten smaller these last few issues. There are as many looks as before, but les patterns. This month is Balenciaga and we get a really cute sheer top and shift dress.

In the “Day-to-Day” section there is a nice sporty skirt and funky 60s mod dress…and a jump suit…is it just me or is Manequim just a little obsessed with jumpsuits right now?

“Dresses of the Decades” is my favourite section this month, probably because I have been so busy researching the 1930s.

Yup! Definitely obsessed with jumpsuits…what is going on with that poor woman’s crotch? I’m not sure if the fly just finishes too high or if the crotch really is that low…cute top next door, love that sleeve.

Ok, let’s do another one shall we? Manequim 628:

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I thought this romantic skirt was a dress at first, maybe the original one is, but it wouldn’t take much to whip up a matching top. I’ve never tried a serious bit of pleating before, I saw that episode of Project Runway where one of the designers used a pleating board, they are very expensive but there are a few tutorials online of how to make your own.

Ok, I have to admit I am running out of words…this skirt panelling is fabulous and I like the wrap top detail. I need to find some spotty sheer fabric!

Aaaand more jump suits to finish! I’ll get the last two Patrones up soon because my next Manequim issue is waiting at the post office for me to pick up. Shall we take a guess at how many jump suits are in that issue? ;) I’ll guess two, any advance on two? ;)

Manequim 626 (August 2011)

Yes, that says August up there in the subject line, I am waaaay behind with my Manequim and Patrones posts, I know. The problem is that my new computer, which is AMAZING (so much so that it requires capitalisation) required a new printer driver compatible with Windows 7. This new printer driver however is not so amazing and we don’t get along…but don’t worry about me, I struggle along ;)

A brief update on the Gok Coat: Thank you for all your super helpful comments and suggestions, it was great to receive so much honest constructive criticism. I think what I have decided after reading them all and thinking about it is that maybe it’s no so bad and how it feels is quite different to how it looks, Sarah’s comment hit it right on the head, the shape feels too masculine on me.

It  does need work though and all the effort I put in is definitely worth saving. So I have removed the sleeves and done some pinning on Scarlett and I think the shape and fit can be corrected to a point I will be happy with and I can make it wearable. …but not until next winter…all that unpicking you remember… So I will share it again with much better photos in about 6 months time. Then I will learn from my mistakes and the construction (which I did enjoy) and make a new version next winter from a different pattern and perhaps in a colour that is more me, with some pop.

You can never have enough coats in Wellington! ;)

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Ok, let’s take a look at the Manequim magazine from…*gasp*…3 months ago…hey who invited November to this party?

There is a lot of exciting stuff in this issue and since it is Friday and I have run out of words for the week (after using up all of them at work) I’ll mostly let the pictures speak for themselves:

We begin with a heap of shirt patterns that didn’t really grab me but I like these dresses in the celebrity style section, more the yellow one (but not for the colour, mustard doesn’t suit me) but the pleats are really nice.

After the success of Blusa 158 I am liking this top above as another potential quick wardrobe addition – and we all need to have at least one sequined pencil skirt. Pattern not included for that one, but if you do want one check out the BurdaStyle Jenny offering, $7.50 for a dress variation as well.

And two more, plus metallic houndstooth pencil skirt.

Lace dresses are everywhere right now aren’t they?

What the heck is going on with those pants?! I’m sorry Manequim, but the full-nappy look is not ever going to be in fashion…

I always love the mulit-look section, this month we get a really nice blazer, not sure if the scan shows it but it has ruffles in the back and you guys know how much I love ruffles. Blusa 361 is looking good with pants or a skirt, kind of 30s looking with the long green skirt no?

Leather pencil skirt, loving that too and the tie front blouse, also EVERYWHERE right now, the fabric is delicious as well.

This month we also get an amazing plus section modelled by the absolutely gorgeous Fabiana Karla who is a Brazilian actress & comedian. I think the range of patterns (sizes 46 – 60) are great plus the skirt (399) and bermudas (340) are multi-sized. Fabiana looks fabulous in all of them.

Well that’s it for now, I have an exciting new mega-project to share with you next, just doing a little bit more internet research and then I will post…plus there are two more issues of Manequim and two Patrones still to catch up on!